A Victory for Racial Unity
- Book: Queenie’s Place
- Location: North Carolina
- Author: Toni Morgan
Toni Morgan has given us an excellent story about finding racial justice in a Southern town with a nearby Marine base. In that respect I felt it was a little like “The Help” meets “The Great Santini” — the machoism of Marine life mixed in with the oppression of blacks in the nearby town. The story features two strong women– a white Marine wife who is passionate about justice issues, and who, much like Skeeter in “The Help”, often finds that passion in conflict not only with town values, but also her own family. The other strong woman is “Queenie” a black bar owner who, at first is hesitant to take on the system, given that she has much more “skin in the game” than does Doreen, her white would-be defender. But as Queenie learns to trust Doreen she gets wrapped up in the fight, and it is her courage in the face of danger that becomes the critical factor. The story is thereby rescued from becoming a “white savior” story, and evolves into a victory for racial unity.
The author’s characters are delightfully complex and well-drawn. I did think that the last section of the book was anti-climatic, and would have been better suited to build a good sequel around.